Rockhound Locations in West Virginia

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Here at Rockhounding Maps, we give you access and information to the best dig sites for crystals and minerals in West Virginia.  On top of that, we’ve created a resource page to assist with answering all of your gem and mineral collecting questions.

We hope you enjoy your time on our site and come back often because we’re always adding new dig locations and crystal collecting updates. This is a great resource for anyone who loves rockhounding, from beginners to experts alike!

Rockhounding in West Virginia is a great way to discover the state’s diverse geology and fossilized wildlife. The number of potential collecting sites here makes it an excellent location for those interested not only in rocks, but also minerals that can be found within them!

We are here for any questions or concerns that might arise about your adventures in mineral collecting.

West Virginia Rockhound Locations

While rockhounding in West Virginia isn’t as popular as it is in Virginia, there are still certain minerals, rocks, crystals, gemstones, and unique fossils to be found. Everybody knows the state well for the coal mines, but many don’t realize that it’s possible to find specimens like agates, flint, opals, and geodes.

Have you ever dreamed of going on a rock-hounding adventure in West Virginia? Rockhounds can find Quartz Crystals, Geodes, Petrified Wood, and Calcite Crystals among other minerals. With its diverse landscape, West Virginia can be a perfect place for you to hunt for rocks!

Be polite wherever you explore. Always pack out what you packed in. Meaning if you stop for a snack while rockhounding at any site, clean up after yourself and pack your trash items back out with you.

Always do your research regarding laws and regulations, and don’t forget to ask for permission to access an area and collect specimens.

This article will discuss the top rockhound locations in West Virginia and the different types of rocks and minerals you can collect. Don’t forget to make it to the bottom of the page because we list out the best rock and mineral societies in the state. If you’re serious about collecting rocks then you’ll want to join one of these amazing clubs.

If you’re an active rock collector in West Virginia then send us an email about your favorite locations and we will feature you on the site and we might sponsor you as well. That’s right, we will pay you to go dig for rocks and minerals.

So, if you’re ready to embark on a rock-hounding journey, then grab your rock hammer, and let’s get started!


Dig For Geodes

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Smoke Hole38.856876, -79.276386Geodes, Gypsum, Pyrite, Fossils


Finding Geodes and Agates in West Virginia

I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who doesn’t find geodes fascinating or beautiful. The thing about geodes is that you never know what patterns or crystals are waiting to be exposed inside. Which is part of the reason they’re so awesome to find.

However, finding geodes in West Virginia is rare, so you’ll need luck and know-how. Supposedly, the best location to find geodes in the state is near Smoke Hole, in the large limestone outcrops. It wouldn’t hurt to explore the nearby stream gravels where geodes might have eroded out of the faces of cliffs.

Agates are some of the most popular rocks to tumble. Their intricate banding and unique designs are a part of the reason rockhounds love finding them. Agates are some of the most commonly collected specimens in the US. Still, they’re relatively rare to find in West Virginia. The state is relatively devoid of Agates, but finding some in Mercer County might be possible if you look hard enough.


Dig For Quartz Crystals

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Lewisburg37.780608, -80.399301Smoky Quartz crystals
Frazer37.750211, -80.560164Quartz crystal
Alderson37.795653, -80.621230Clear Quartz crystals, Double-Terminated crystals
Union, Turkey Creek37.536118, -80.516521Quartz crystals
Franklin38.654194, -79.386429Chert, Clear Quartz crystals, Smoky Quartz Crystals


The Smoke Hole Area is an excellent place to start this list. Spruce Knob is the highest point in West Virginia, which connects to the Alleghenies, and to the west, you’ll find Monongahela National Forest. Because of the U.S. Forest Service, rock and gemstone collecting is allowed.

The mixed-terrain forest is highly mineralized and geologically complex. The forest within this area offers several locations for rockhounds to find incredible specimens.

You’ll find Smoke Hole Canyon along the eastern edge of the forest between Cave Mountain and North Mountain. It’s a long, half-mile-deep gorge that’s been carved by the South Branch of the beautiful Potomac River. If you hit this area, you’ll find some exceptional specimens, including:

  • Geodes
  • Quartz
  • Pyrite
  • Gypsum
  • Fossils
  • Agates

All you should really need are some basic rockhounding tools.


Dig For Petrified Wood

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Charleston38.307295, -81.657262Silicified wood
Berry Hills Country Club38.314745, -81.694640Petrified wood


Judy Gap is even closer to Spruce Knob, neatly nestled along the North Fork South Branch of the Potomac River. Here you’ll find Judy Gap.

Along the surface of the streams, riverbeds, and gravels of this area, rockhounds are bound to find various exciting specimens, including:

  • Dolomite 
  • Smoky Quartz
  • Calcite
  • Travertine
  • Agates

The best areas to explore are where the water slows down, forming an alluvial deposit. You can reach this rockhound location from Smoke Hole within 40 minutes, and it’s worth the drive.


Dig For Gems and Minerals

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Strange Creek38.566400, -80.897672Siderite
Barboursville38.421717, -82.298754Ocher
Standing Rock Run38.515219, -81.007897Siderite
South Fork Mountain38.873976, -79.094321Hematite
Coopers Rock39.693000, -79.789317Hematite, Opal
Morgantown39.660099, -79.993491Pyrite concretions
Sugar Grove road cut38.484005, -79.326714Chabazite
Moss Mountain37.624901, -80.281344Chert nodules, Manganese, Quartz crystals
New Martinsville along Ohio River39.615084, -80.911936Muscovite


The Harman Area is only about 22 miles northwest of Judy Gap. Some of the specimens you might possibly find along the banks of Horse Camp Run River include:

  • Quartz Crystals
  • Calcite
  • Dolomite
  • Agates

Rockhounds are likely to get lucky if they check the location 11 miles west between Blizzard Gate and Harman Church of Brethren. Suppose you want to hit multiple rockhound locations in one day. In that case, Smokey Hole, Judy Gap, and Harman are a trio within Pendleton County worth exploring.

The southern edge of the Alleghenies in Greenbrier County might be one of the best rockhound locations to search for Quartz crystals and Agates in West Virginia.

This area contains a large amount of public land, which is generally open to anyone interested in rockhounding and collecting. It’s been said that even more specifically, south of Asbury and north of Alderson is prime rockhounding territory. Exploring this location might lead to finding Smokey and clear double-terminated Quartz, especially if one searches along the banks of Muddy Creek.


Dig For Calcite Crystals

Location NameLongitude and LatitudeRocks and Gemstones
Harman area38.915439, -79.513119Calcite, Dolomite crystals, Quartz crystals
Judy Gap38.706257, -79.465866Calcite crystals, Dolomite crystals, Smoky Quartz crystals
Berkeley Springs39.648957, -78.217604Calcite, Jasper, Pyrite cubes, Quartz crystals, Selenite
Greer39.572200, -79.841604Pink Calcite crystals
Knobly Mountain39.345874, -79.002904Chalcedony, Calcite, Dolomite crystals, Fluorite crystals, Sulfur, Quartz crystals, Sphalerite
Renick37.993868, -80.335828Calcite, Fluorite
Petersburg38.997226, -79.075644Calcite, Dolomite, Quartz crystals
North Fork Gap38.989223, -79.240624Calcite, Celestite, Dolomite crystals, Travertine
Fort Spring37.742814, -80.553282Calcite, Celestite, Dolomite crystals, Quartz crystals
Berkeley County39.472745, -77.907630Calcite, Dolomite crystals, Quartz crystals


Things To Remember When Rockhounding in West Virginia

Rockhounding locations are constantly changing and evolving. Specimens can become depleted from over-collecting, sites are sometimes built on or altered, locality info in literature can be inaccurate, and property ownership might change.

The legalities of mineral and rock harvesting on public lands depend primarily on which of the four federal agencies own it. Land designated as national parks are areas protected from damage, which means rockhound is often widely not permitted. While public land owned by the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) usually allows the collection of specimens within certain limitations.

Joining local rockhound clubs and societies is an excellent idea for those looking for inside tips and locations.

Rock And Mineral Societies

The Kanawha Rock and Gem Club is the main rockhounding club in West Virginia.

The club’s primary focus is collecting and studying minerals, rocks, and fossils and sharing knowledge in these fields. The study and practice of lapidary arts is another focus of the club.

Individual memberships are $15, and family memberships are $20. Being a member of this rockhound society in West Virginia comes with various family-friendly activities, including:


  • Field Trips to Caves, Exhibition Mines, and Museums
  • Educational Materials and Videos
  • Guest Lectures
  • Annual Rock and Gem Show & Sale
  • Rockhounding Field Trips


West Virginia has far more to offer than coal. The state offers numerous locations for rockhounds to explore and collect. Don’t forget becoming a member of a rockhound club or society can lead to so much knowledge and first-hand experience.